Sunday, July 31, 2011

Christ Our Way

Christ is the light of the world. The Apostles and then the Christians of the first several centuries were able to transform nations because of their love for Him. They persisted in spite of hostile environments. They knew that Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6) He is not a way but the way. Motivated by love for everyone as well as for Our Lord, they brought the Faith to whoever they went. If they were banished from countries, they found new places to live the teachings of Christ. Often persecuted, they were undeterred even though there were some Christians who lapsed out of fear. So, much of the world became Christian, especially Europe and the Americas.

This great achievement has been lost in recent decades. The new European constitution will not recognize its Christian roots. Our own country has become secularized whereby God is continually pushed out of the public forum. Religion is marginalized.

Maybe this is the fault of Christians themselves. Many had become too comfortable with the Faith in which they were baptized. Many were Catholic in name only. They missed the opportunity of having a personal relationship with Jesus and of spiritual growth. It became easier to follow the course of society rather than to lead others to the way, the truth and the life.

Right now where we are is God’s will for us. We must not see our Catholicism as merely a name. The Catholic faith is rich; it is alive. It’s not a cold set of doctrines, but rather the teachings of Jesus who is with us now and always. The very life of Our Lord flows in the Church through the Sacraments.

When the attitudes of people around us become indifferent or hostile to God, we must show with our words and with our example that Christ is alive among us. We have to struggle against any temptation to compromise what Jesus has given us. We need more prayer and the strength that comes from the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion. Then, we will know the necessary graces that God gives in all circumstances.

Love of Jesus and love of our brothers and sisters will compel us always to show Him who is the way, the truth and the life.

Father Stanley

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